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An Emotional Goodbye from Naresh Goyal Naresh Goyal's exit from Jet Airways marks the end of an era

By Aastha Singal

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On the verge of bankruptcy today, Jet Airways has once enjoyed the privilege of sitting at the helm of India's airline business. Despite the fatal downfall, the man responsible for building the nation's oldest private sector airline deserves all the credit for his visionary approach.

Naresh Goyal, the exemplary entrepreneur who started his career as a cashier in his uncle's travel agency went on to establish the most preferable LCC among the Indians. Fearing the loss of control of business prevented him from taking external help when the company first landed in the financial soup, shutting major doors of revival.

Despite the changing policies, piling debts and declining business, Goyal stood tall until recently when he stepped down as the chairman of Jet Airways under a debt resolution plan. After an emotionally-charged letter to employees, Goyal has sent a sentimental note to his peers thanking them for their continued support despite the tough times.

"For the past 25 years, Jet Airways has been a way of life for me. Very few people are fortunate enough to live their dreams and I have been truly blessed to be one among those few.

My dream started out as the simple yearning of a simple man, a desire to bring the joy of flying to every Indian. Two and a half decades later, what Jet Airways has achieved in no small measure far exceeds anything I dared to imagine back then; thanks to your continued patronage and loyalty as our valued JetPrivilege member.

I have watched with pride as our JetPrivilege family has grown to over nine million strong members in 2019, in tandem with our fleet of 124 aircraft connecting to over 550 destinations worldwide. We grew together with our JetPrivilege family, connecting the length and breadth of India at a time when flying was still considered a luxury in our country, growing to become India's premiere full-service airline.

This has all been possible largely because of your unstinted support, guiding us to set guest-service benchmarks to the envy of our competitors and helping us realise our dream of emerging as a global gold standard of warm Indian hospitality.

Jet Airways as you all know has truly been a labour of love and looking back, I would not want to change a thing. Thank you for your free and frank feedback which has helped Jet Airways emerge as the airline of choice across both domestic and international skies.

Today, as I ponder on the past and look to the future, I do realise that there must come a day when the torch that we have carried all this while, will need to be passed on. And there is no better time than the present. I would like to humbly and with immense gratitude, inform you that both Mrs Goyal and I are stepping down from the Board of Directors of Jet Airways with immediate effect.

Our airline, today, stands poised to turn the page, ready to fly out from the turbulence of recent months and soar forth into a bright new future. Our shareholders have approved the Bank-led Resolution Plan (BLRP), which marks a definitive step in our efforts to guide Jet Airways onto a sounder and sustainable financial footing. There is light at the end of the tunnel and that is why I feel; the time is now right for us to hand over the reins of your preferred airline to a new generation of leaders that I am certain will take Jet Airways to even greater heights.

I would be lying if I said this was not an emotional moment for me. Jet Airways, its employees both past and present, shareholders, partners, regulators, and most importantly you our JetPrivilege members, are our family and there is no sacrifice I would not make to ensure the best interests of our Jet Airways family are safely secured. I have not come to this decision lightly but this is not the end of the journey, rather it is the start of a brand new chapter. I remain committed to seeing Jet Airways embark on a dynamic new chapter and I am certain, that the new generation of leaders will be able to count on your continued support in the months and years ahead.

Our teams at Jet Airways have been continuously striving to deliver a superior guest experience, which has been our key differentiator. I can assure you on their behalf that they will continue to deliver the world-class service that you have come to expect from them.

Thank you once again for your continued patronage and loyalty through the many years.

Most sincerely,
Naresh Goyal

Aastha Singal

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Features Writer

A business journalist looking to find happiness in the world of startups, investments, MSMEs and more. Officially started her career as a news reporter for News World India, Aastha had short stints with NDTV and NewsX. A true optimist seeking to make a difference, she is a comic junkie who'd rather watch a typical Bollywood masala than a Hollywood blockbuster. 

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